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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Portrait 1: Holding a Scroll

The people were amazed at His teaching, because
He taught them as one who had authority,
not as the teachers of the law.
Mark 1:22

On my daughter’s mantel is a portrait of her and five friends drawn by one of the friends. The artist is very talented, for it is easy to look at the drawing and immediately recognize each girl. I am not an artist, but there are several pictures of Jesus in my mind that I would love to draw. Therefore, each day this week I am going to draw a portrait of Jesus for you with my words.

In this portrait, Jesus is standing in the synagogue holding a scroll before a crowd of people. The scroll is not down by His side, but is held near His heart. The Word of God is dear to Jesus Christ. He knows the Word and speaks it with authority: He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed… (Luke 4:18).

The eyes of Jesus are focused upon the people—upon those who need to hear, understand and believe the Word. In that crowd stands a woman whose head is covered in shame. Tears are streaming down the cheeks of another woman who is grieving. A man stands distanced from the crowd holding tightly to a bottle of wine. Jesus is speaking to people who are bound by chains of sin, addiction, fear, grief…who are blind to truth and the way of salvation and who need to be delivered from oppression.

Various expressions are on their faces. Some are looking away in disbelief and disgust. Some have bent eyebrows showing uncertainty. Who is this man? I have never heard anyone speak with such power and authority. Is He claiming to be the Messiah sent from God? Could He be? Others are gazing upon Jesus intently with expressions of awe and reverence. They realize Jesus is no ordinary teacher. He is who He claims to be—our Deliverer!

If you were in that portrait, what would your expression reveal about your belief of who Jesus is?

Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see You for who You truly are!

Jan Burkhart

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